Spin king goes into last overseas Test for Sri Lanka aiming to deny India series win.
|Dilshan runs home his sixth Test century of the year in Mumbai [AFP]|
In-form opener Tillakaratne Dilshan posted his 11th overall Test century and his sixth of the year as Sri Lanka made 366-8 on a fluctuating first day of the third and final Test against India in Mumbai.
Dilshan’s 160-ball 109 and his brisk 93-run partnership for the opening wicket with Tharanga Paranavitana (53) were the highlight of Sri Lanka’s innings after captain Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and elected to bat.
India offspinner Harbhajan Singh (4-107) struck some crucial blows to stop Sri Lanka’s progress as the hosts bounced back into the contest after struggling in the opening session.
Sri Lanka allrounder Angelo Mathews hit a career-best 86 not out to give Sri Lanka a slight edge as the visitors, who are yet to win a Test on Indian soil since their first visit in 1982, trail 1-0 in the three-match series after losing the second Test by an innings and 144 runs.
Mathews, who had just one half-century in his previous six Tests, struck 13 boundaries off 118 balls and featured in two prosperous partnerships: 74 for the fifth wicket with Dilshan and 67 for the sixth with Prasanna Jayawardene (43).
Sri Lanka lost three wickets in the closing stages, leaving Muttiah Muralitharan at the crease at stumps, yet to score.
|First day scorecard|
Sri Lanka first innings
Dilshan struck two sixes and 10 fours to stamp his authority against India’s pace attack, and forced home captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to turn to his spinners earlier than he would have hoped.
He was finally given out caught by Murali Vijay at forward short leg but replays showed that the ball bounced off his pad.
Paranavitana struck seven boundaries off 81 balls before offspinner Harbhajan got India’s first breakthrough, inducing an edge to Rahul Dravid at first slip.
After toiling in the field against Sri Lanka’s opening pair, India struck back with three wickets in the afternoon session to slow the visitors’ scoring. Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha (2-97) dismissed Sangakkara caught behind for 18.
Pace bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth (1-39) then removed Mahela Jayawardene, who top-edged an intended pull-shot to Yuvraj Singh at backward square-leg.
Harbhajan then snared Thilan Samaraweera’s (1) wicket, inducing a bat-pad
catch to Vijay at short-leg. Harbhajan later dismissed Rangana Herath (1) and also featured in Prasanna Jayawardene’s dismissal, taking the catch off Ojha’s bowling.